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Apparent Islamic Terrorism Strikes Sydney

IronChef Re:Australian Gun Laws are STRICT! (873 comments)

Thank you for explaining the details of the system.

I am curious, how do they track your participation in events? I understand the goal of the law but it seems like activity tracking could be a huge bureaucracy all by itself.

In the US, if we had a system like that there'd be a per-event and per-shot tax required to build a new block of office buildings full of a thousand Federal workers shuffling papers.

4 days ago

NASA Remasters 20-Year-Old Galileo Photographs of Jupiter's Moon, Europa

IronChef Instead of a crappy blog link, here's the source (38 comments)


Wait, wait!! Let me do this Slashdot style, and find the worst possible source for the material... Here's a Gizmodo link which references the RedOrbit article which links to JPL:


Can it get worse? You bet! Let's go deeper into the brown web... a vast sea of crappy auto-generated content.


about three weeks ago

In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

IronChef Re:Flawed, 'cos... (454 comments)

> *Someone* has to own the rush hour fleet.

A lot of our problems seem to stem from the peak demand problem.

What if there was no rush hour, or a greatly lessened one? Rush hour is in large part an artifact of our requirement to get to an office at a certain time. If we changed the way we worked and eliminated that requirement wherever possible, peak demand would drop and that would help with a lot of transportation problems.

A lot of information workers don't need to be at the office. It's tradition that keeps them there. We can build new traditions that keep them working at home, or close to home. We already have the tools to make it possible.

It isn't a panacea. A lot of people need to be present at their workplace. There are still events that will drive peak demand. But it would have to help.

about a month ago

Big Data Knows When You Are About To Quit Your Job

IronChef Re:I've worked at a Fortune 50 for the last 2 year (185 comments)

> Also, giving you a 10-20% raise is NOTHING to the company.

I see us waste literally millions of dollars a year--just flushed right down the drain--but raises are rare as hen's teeth. Promotions, too. They apologetically explain that there are policies which must be followed.

They can't promote you from a Level X to Level X+1 until you have enough direct reports. It's policy! Oh, your group is small enough that you will never have any direct reports? Unfortunately, you can therefore never be promoted. So sorry... but it's policy.

I assume it is made this way to reap the same benefits of "zero tolerance" policies in schools. When there is a policy, no matter how toxic, you just follow it, and you are protected.

Meanwhile the rules are different for new hires. We must attract top talent! Big titles for everyone new! There are policies in place for this too, and a budgetary structure which explicitly supports this divisive system.

about a month and a half ago

Statisticians Study Who Was Helped Most By Obamacare

IronChef Re:Redistribution (739 comments)

You're correct, preventative care is covered. But what does that actually mean?


Those are mostly screening services, not treatments. The "preventative care" list for women is a little better, but this is not a lot of care for your money.

about a month and a half ago

Ferguson No-Fly Zone Revealed As Anti-Media Tactic

IronChef Re:Political science (265 comments)

Power to the porpoises?

about a month and a half ago

Statisticians Study Who Was Helped Most By Obamacare

IronChef Re:Redistribution (739 comments)

> ACA helps because when you switch jobs, you know that you can get reasonably priced insurance afterwards.

Depends on your definition of reasonable. My wife an I are in our early 40s. Catastrophic coverage which will help if we get hit by a bus, but offers nothing short of that due to a giant deductible, is about $500/mo. Health care which isn't quite as good as the typical white-collar job benefit I currently have would cost about $800/mo.That's more than it costs to lease a base model Tesla.

Those values do not feel especially reasonable, and they do keep me less mobile as a worker. Maybe things are cheaper in other states.

about a month and a half ago

Elon Musk Warns Against Unleashing Artificial Intelligence "Demon"

IronChef Re:Comment from an AI researcher (583 comments)

I have a question about "strong AI" that you might be able to answer.

I've always been under the impression that should "strong AI" in the sci-fi sense become a reality, the machines would be complex enough that we would not understand every last bit-flip in their operation, at least not up front. The machine would be loaded with concealed information--weights in neural networks that themselves were the output of other algorithms, that kind of thing. We could figure out any aspect of it on demand... but we wouldn't know it all if we didn't go looking.

In a biology analogy: we might learn to grow a brain, and teach it things, and talk to it, but we wouldn't understand the total function of every single chemical signal that crossed every cellular membrane until we started cutting it up.

This is the opposite of a CPU, where an engineer planned every single P-N junction on the wafer. Sure, some of it may have been placed by computerized tools, but it is all understood in advance, down to the movement of electrons.

Is my impression that "strong AI" will be an inherently obfuscated system valid? Or is it just more of the same kind of software complexity that we already deal with?

Thanks if you have time to post something!

about 2 months ago

The Growing Illusion of Single Player Gaming

IronChef Re:I HATE multiplayer (292 comments)

You don't have to take orders. You don't even have to listen to them. Turn off all the voice comms, and treat the other players as bots. That's how I play TF2 (my only MP game) and it works just fine.

I suppose if you landed on the wrong server you might get kicked for not communicating. I have never had that happen yet, though.

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What To Do After Digitizing VHS Tapes?

IronChef Obviously... (268 comments)

Write the files to a tape drive.

about 3 months ago

Why Are the World's Scientists Continuing To Take Chances With Smallpox?

IronChef Re:The problem is... (190 comments)

Find out in... POXPOCALYPSE!

about 5 months ago

Ode To Sound Blaster: Are Discrete Audio Cards Still Worth the Investment?

IronChef Re:No. (502 comments)

It happens in the A/V receiver.

about 5 months ago

Ode To Sound Blaster: Are Discrete Audio Cards Still Worth the Investment?

IronChef Re:No. (502 comments)

I am not sure even gamers need sound cards any more... at least not those who don't use headphones. I have a 7.1 movie surround system hooked to a PC, and the Windows itself magically mixes sound bits into the HDMI stream coming from my Nvidia GPU. In games, I get as many discrete sound channels as the game software supports, plus I can push most any kind of bitstream (including DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD) from media files.

With a complete digital path, what does a sound card have to offer me? I guess AMD is making some sound co-processor stuff that might make neat effects at low CPU usage, but I'll need to see some really killer apps for that before it looks remotely attractive.

about 5 months ago

Goldman Sachs Demands Google Unsend One of Its E-mails

IronChef Re:why? (346 comments)

> That clearly won't happen

Not until Scalia gets the case!

about 6 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Would It Take For You To Buy a Smartwatch?

IronChef Re:Inspired to... meh (427 comments)

What's your tritium watch, got a link?

about 6 months ago

Microsoft Wants You To Trade Your MacBook Air In For a Surface Pro 3

IronChef Re:See even Microsoft thinks MacBook Airs rule! (365 comments)

Windows 8 takes everything you thought you knew about Windows, kills it, rapes it, buries it, digs it up, rapes it again, sets it on fire, and props up the corpse with rusty coat-hangers in the form of a rude gesture.

Strangely, I still love my Surface Pro, but it is despite Windows 8, not because of it. I think for a certain niche it's a sensible machine, but admittedly that niche is awfully narrow.

about 6 months ago

IRS Lost Emails of 6 More Employees Under Investigation

IronChef Re:Massive conspiracy (465 comments)

My company, which is quite straight-laced, has a very short email retention policy. Email in your Outlook client is only accessible for 30 days before it gets put into some kind of backup system, where it only has another month or two before it's gone forever.

You can search the backups with a special tool, but it is too painful to do frequently.

You are not allowed to create PST files or otherwise store email locally, in any format. Doing so is a firing offense.

Now, I don't know what they do with the data on the server once it's lost to me. I'm sure they are complying with the law. But they have designed an email system that prevents you from using it as personal long-term storage, as you'd do with your private Gmail account. I always assumed this had to be for liability reasons. It sure is inconvenient, though.

about 6 months ago

Cable Companies Duped Community Groups Into Fighting Net Neutrality

IronChef And this is why I never sign petitions (170 comments)

When someone on the street asks me to sign a petition, the answer is always no. It doesn't matter how worthy the stated cause is:

- Free, nutritious school lunches for whales
- Not grinding minorities into paste at the border
- Municipal high-speed internet

You don't know what you are really signing until you read the fine print, and the fine print under the fine print.

about 6 months ago


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